Often when one plans a big trip like the one I’m about to embark on, some things fall off the radar…like updating my blog has this past week. I wanted to just quickly say thank you for checking in, and I wish you all only the best for the holiday season.
I’ll be back early in the New Year with lots to report on.
Last week was a whirlwind – and I don’t think this coming one will be any different!
For my last outside dinner in New York before I leave on Monday the 15th I went to my restaurant, Alto, where the new winter season dishes have just been added to the menu. They had just received an enormous truffle shipment from France and the chef prepared for Jane Epstein and I a Truffle-risoto which was finger-licking good. To commence we had mushroom soup, again with truffles, and the main dish was Atlantic Seabass, which was served over spinach. Each dish was paired with a different wine, including dessert (which, by the time that came, could’ve been slop for all I knew!). It’s wonderful to dine in one’s own environment with good company and outstanding food. But, that evening marked the lighting of the tree in Rockefeller Centre, which meant a 35-minute delay as there was no way of getting to 53rd and 5th!
On Thursday I lectured in front of 250 guests at the Construct Canada in Toronto on the slings and arrows of design and followed it up with a book signing. It always fascinates me that wherever I speak the problems are always the same. Lack of understanding of what it entails to create environments, that elements are not just thrown together but rather conceptualized and designed to suit a particular concept that one has in mind. And it’s always nice to share the fact that I go through the same thing myself in my jobs. It is such a wonderful city, and it was interesting to see Toronto without all its leaves – that certainly makes a difference.
After the lecture, we rushed back to Manhattan to attend The Interior Design Best of Year Awards which were presented at the Guggenheim. I was pleased to have been one of the nominees for my candlesticks for Baccarat. It’s such a wonderful building to walk through and it was great to see the new exhibition – theanyspacewhatever.
On Sunday I went to see four shows – one was Le Plaisir by Raoul Dufy at the Musee d’Art modern de la Ville de Paris and it revived my desire to use bright colors in spaces. Yes, I know I don’t do bright colors, but after seeing the whole show on his world of color I was truly inspired. To see his usage of color in such graphic ways really got my mind going…
From there I went to a new show on Picasso and his inspirations at the Grand Palais and I found it to be a truly impressive show. The quantity of paintings by him and the other artists including Velasquez, Poussin, Delacroix and Manet was really impressive to see and I found his process of dissecting someone else’s work and reinterpreting it in his own way resonated with me. There was a one and a half hour wait in line, but it really was worth every tiring minute of waiting. (I’m not a patient individual, by the way.)
From there I went to the Pompeido where they had a show on Italian futurist paintings which is something I have a passion for. I’ve been collecting futurist photography for the past 25 years and it was wonderful to see such a complete collection of something the public is usually not exposed to. I then had a leisurely lunch at Restaurant Georges, which was really a highlight. I drank a whole bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau (the French wine of the season) by myself and felt no pain.
From there I went to Notre Dame and there was an amazing organ concert for an hour with a performance of Bach and other pieces. A great culmination of a lazy Sunday.
Another highlight of my trip was a show on David Seidner’s photography at the Fondation Pierre Berge Yves Saint Laurent. It was really exquisite.
But the main reason I was in Paris was to buy for VW Home. It wasn’t easy as most dealers are holding back because of the poor economy in France. However, I was able to buy a cross section of pieces from 1920’s and even mid-century, so the trip was definitely worth my while. The pieces are en-route and will be in the showroom early in 2009. I’ll be sure to post some pictures when they arrive.
While in Paris I went to see an artist friend of mine Philippe David who is a textile designer and, dare I say, I saw some textile designs that I’m going to incorporate into the showroom early next year. So graphic! I think it’s time for me to start incorporating some pattern (gasp!) into my collection. These are very textural in look with great usage of color. Watch this space…
Yesterday morning after a jog on the bank of the Seine at 7am (Paris time), I got on a plane and landed in New York at 5.30pm. By 7.30 I was in Madison Square Garden to see Tina Turner in concert as Preston Bailey’s guest. It was amazing! She’s 66 but her voice is as raw and exquisite as it’s always been and her energy and performance was superb. I’ve seen her before, the first time was 28 years ago, and she’s still as electrifying as the first time.